Ah! The long awaited race of the year..I’ve been looking forward to have a radical time racing my bike and also chilling on the beautiful beaches in Bali. I’ve been training for this one for quite a while now.. with running 6 kms 4 days a week followed by non-stop DH runs on my local trails. I just felt ready to go for the biggest race I’m about to do this season!
After getting my bike dialled from from the bike shop I was set for an another adventurous experien e, which took a little longer since I reached the airport very early and had to wait 7 hours for my flight. But anyway I reached bali later the next day, watched the sun rise along the beach as the cab drove me to a hotel in candidasa. If you’re in Bali and looking for an affordable vacation of riding, travelling or just chilling this is the most amazing place to stay! Anyway later in the Day the rest of out Indian horses arrived and we spent the evening sipping the local beer (bintang) chatting about our previous race and other good times together. We decided to wrap it up with good food and head out to the venue for the track walk.
As the sun rose up we shuttled our bikes into the car and drove about 20kms from our stay to the track. We just entered the gate and a few meters down I spotted a hip jump, I’m like ‘This is great! I can’t wait to hit it!’ This track was super dusty and slippery and if you weren’t in control you almost went all over the place, I experienced that as took a few hits ride when I rode it out first
The next day we had ample time to practice and do runs so took that chance and went for it. Although it wasn’t as I expected it to be.. I didn’t want to be timid, I wanted to be as paced as I could be but that didn’t work out so well as I was all over the place, eating dust or being dusted, my bike gave out and I was running on the rim of two of my runs and that was unbelievable. they closed the tract at 4 and not having done a single clean run was very disappointing.
Anyway I had to get my head together for the seeding run the next day.
As I arrived they had allotted practice from 7-8 which was a good thing before the seeding in the afternoon for which qualified 8th due to some minor hick ups along the way! This got me worried for the finals the next day as I knew I had to do my best and see how far I get!
It was the sunday race day, as fans and spectators lined up on the course to see one of the worlds fastest racers compete. It was exhilarating for me too, to be riding the same track that most of my idols, Mick Hannah, Remi thirion, the entire coastal crew were riding. But this excitement made me a little nervous for my race run which was timed at 1:30 pm.
It was so humid and hot it felt unbearable after warming up. There were 20 seconds to go, I pulled myself together gave a fist bump to my friend who was after me and soon it was 5,4,3,2,1 ! GO!
That feeling never changes… I sprinted off the roll down and did the first jumps smoothly, managed all the tricky section with a little less speed but I was feeling pretty good about my run as I hustled across the woods getting into the final section of the course, did the awkward rock section before the ladder bridge drop and
right when I thought I was about finish I hit the tree on that next to the ladder bridge and my bike fell in the safety net, thank god it was there! I was so gutted I went numb and struggled to get my bike off the net, next my brake lever was bent and was pointing towards me.. I couldn’t put my hands on the bar and to hit a few times to get it in the right place. :/ I managed to ride off that section and did the hip jump comfortable to the finish line jump and finished with a time of 3m44secs and landed in the 16th place! I was totally gutted… After me, Gautam finished 5th with neat timing was was the first Indian to get a podium in an Asian Level race. As much as I felt it could’ve been both of us I was really stoked for him! Well in this trip things didn’t go as I planned but it was a great learning opportunity and a chance to improve my riding level with a new perspective.
I’m going headstrong into the 2015 season to see what it has in store for me. We wrapped up with a craaazy after party and bali’s best clubs. It was good time afterall